The Caribbean strengthens its Business Resilience and DRR initiatives

Launch of the ARISE chapter of Haiti Photo credits: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean.

By: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean.

PANAMÁ CITY, Panamá, 8 April 2019- The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has been focusing in business resilience and strengthening the private sector disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives in the Caribbean: Recently, Haiti and Saint Lucia launched their ARISE National Networks, combined to a DRR training, and the regional chambers of commerce gathered in Barbados to launch a joint network.

DRR and resilient business workshops

From 21 to 22 of March in Haiti, representatives from small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) participated to a workshop on "Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction – Achieving Resilience of SMEs". During 4 April in Saint Lucia, representatives of the private sector participated to a one-day training in Business Continuity and Risk Assessment on the Business Sector.

Both workshops focused on mapping and assessing the SMEs on the disaster and climate related business risks, and the development of business continuity plans for disaster risk reduction. The workshop used the methodology of the Global Education and Training Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction – GETI, with the support of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean.

One of the important outcomes of these workshops was that the SMEs began to develop a basic disaster comprehensive tool that strengthens its DRR preparedness by implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

ARISE Launch

On 22 March, under the coordination of AGERCA (a platform of private enterprises involved in risk prevention and disaster response in Haiti), members of the private sector of Haiti launched the ARISE National Network. Saint Lucia also launched its network on 5 April, under the coordination of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).

ARISE is a private sector initiative that seeks to reduce risks through better decision making, informed by the risk related to preparedness, response and recovery following a disaster. This includes risk-informed investment decisions for a sustainable future. The combination of intellectual, implementation and capital assets collectively available within the public and private sector will support substantial progress towards the creation of resilient communities.

Support to the Private Sector

On 1 and 2 of March, Executive Directors of sixteen chambers of commerce across the Caribbean region gathered in Barbados to officially launch the Caribbean Chamber of Chambers of Commerce (CARICHAM) alongside the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to officially establish the network. The Chambers of Commerce representatives came from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.

The CARICHAM has the objectives of developing sustainable platforms that build awareness and share best practices on DRR and resilience, foster innovation and strategic collaboration to increase global competitiveness and resilience among the CARICHAM members, determine the best way to undertake meaningful advocacy in areas of mutual interest; and develop sustainable platforms that promote trade and investment in the regional markets.

The private sector of the Caribbean has also been invited to participate on the Call for Good Practices in DRR, an initiative that focuses on the promotion and exchange of experiences on how the private sector is engaged to reduce the impact of disasters.

These advances and events were possible due to the financial support of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).


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